Back in the '60s, Volkswagen was eager to corner the under-12 market. They were in a good position: the Beetle, looking like a giant toy, was appealing to kids, so they just needed to sweeten the pot a bit and get the kids into dealers. That's why they made special holiday books like this. Too bad kids are always broke and can't legally buy cars.

Yeah, they fired that consultant who told them to try and get more kids buying cars. That guy also had a complex plan to get more cats in the dealership, too. It was a disaster. Still, there's some cool things that came from it, like this 1969 holiday-time dealer giveaway book, The Jolly Green Volkswagen.


It's the story of a vivid green Beetle who's color is keeping it from being sold. That strikes me as a bit odd, since it's not like VW ever shied away from vivid colors for Beetles. But, whatever, we'll roll with it. Eventually, the Beetle gets sold to a bearded man in blue who happens to be Santa Claus, who is replacing his aging reindeer team with the Beetle for his well-known delivery run.

A blue-clad Santa Claus? Actually, not just blue-clad. He seems to have blue skin, like some terrifying gigantic Smurf. This seems like a written justification for a printer being out of red ink for a last-minute holiday press run. Even with this bold iconoclasm, the book is pretty cute and I love the late 60s drawing style, with the limited color palette.

There's other interesting details in the art: the Beetle is clearly a '69, with the Europe single-blade bumpers and the external fuel filler. The use of the wipers as eyebrows (for the correctly-placed eyes) is something I haven't seen before, and I think it's interesting that eyelashes are used here. They're normally a signifier of femininity, but the car here is presented as male.

Here's scans of every page, courtesy of this site. Enjoy!